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#192837 - 01/07/10 02:21 PM SPOT and DeLorme Unveil First Handheld GPS with Sa
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1960
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Spot LLC, and well-known GPS manufacturer, DeLorme, announced the world’s first handheld GPS and satellite communicator product. The DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w with SPOT Satellite Communicator will be the first handheld GPS capable of sending user inputted real time text messages from remote locations. This is clearly a significant advantage over the very limited pre-defined messages allowed using the existing SPOT GPS Satellite Messenger. Note that this is still a one-way device, it cannot receive messages via the satellite link.

While details are sketchy, we have the press release and a photo at: http://www.equipped.org/blog/?p=190
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Doug Ritter
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#192843 - 01/07/10 02:51 PM Re: SPOT and DeLorme Unveil First Handheld GPS with Sa [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4934
Loc: SOCAL
No physical keyboard so inputting the text will either be through a soft keyboard on the display or through a tedious process using the toggle/arrow button. Hmmm, that might work as long as the 9-1-1 is a single button and easy to do under stress. This SPOT-DeLorme device might work for checking in and calling for non-emergency assist, but so does a cell phone. I'll wait for more details.

Regardless, I ordered a FastFind which should arrive with my RSK M-4, so I have the PLB issue covered.

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#192845 - 01/07/10 02:52 PM Re: SPOT and DeLorme Unveil First Handheld GPS with Sa [Re: Doug_Ritter]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
Dang and I just got the PN40 after a long debate on SPOT or new GPS to replace an older Garmin that still worked well.

Oh well.
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Don't just survive. Thrive.

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#192847 - 01/07/10 02:59 PM Re: SPOT and DeLorme Unveil First Handheld GPS with Sa [Re: Russ]
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1960
Some updated info including price and a link to a DeLorme Blog post with additional details added to my Blog.
_________________________
Doug Ritter
Editor
Equipped To Survive®
Chairman & Executive Director
Equipped To Survive Foundation
www.KnifeRights.org
www.DougRitter.com

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#192849 - 01/07/10 03:04 PM Re: SPOT and DeLorme Unveil First Handheld GPS with Sa [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4934
Loc: SOCAL
Quote:
Users can send freeform text messages using the PN-60w’s keyboard to select individuals or groups from the field even from remote areas world-wide.
Doug, do you know whether or not that's a physical keyboard?

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#192853 - 01/07/10 03:32 PM Re: SPOT and DeLorme Unveil First Handheld GPS with Sa [Re: Russ]
NobodySpecial Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 197
>Doug, do you know whether or not that's a physical keyboard?
It's an onscreen keyboard.

Since the Spot transmitter is a separate unit and the comms is presumably bluetooth this capabiility will probably be available for your iPhone/Blackberry soon.




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#192862 - 01/07/10 04:07 PM Re: SPOT and DeLorme Unveil First Handheld GPS with Sa [Re: NobodySpecial]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA

Spot is so frustrating. They come so close to providing a killer product, but always do something annoying to detract.

Personally, I think a combo GPS, satellite messenger is a killer idea.

I think the idea of sending free form text messages is a killer idea.

Why, oh why make it two units connected via wireless?! Well, I can guess the answer, but it doesn't make it any less clunky.

And, why, oh why, pick a device without a reasonable keyboard?! Geez, all the phone guys have gotten keyboards down, both soft and physical.

Sigh.

-john

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#192875 - 01/07/10 05:24 PM Re: SPOT and DeLorme Unveil First Handheld GPS with Sa [Re: JohnN]
raptor Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 284
Loc: Europe
I agree with JohnN. They should have make it as one device. And with proper physical keyboard.
But it's good to see the ongoing innovation in this area.

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#192923 - 01/07/10 09:08 PM Re: SPOT and DeLorme Unveil First Handheld GPS with Sa [Re: JohnN]
NobodySpecial Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 197
Originally Posted By: JohnN
Why, oh why make it two units connected via wireless?!

You take an existing GPS product and just add a few lines of code to talk to the SPOT. No new case design, no tooling costs, no CE/FCC approval and you don't have to carry two different models.
while if SPOT made this as a single unit they would be competing with both the established GPS makers and their own unit.

The SPOT puck is then just an off the shelf globestar modem, a bluetooth chip and a battery - very quick and easy to bring to market. And now you can add SPOT to any GPS (or smart phone) maker's unit.

It's not a very difficult market to enter, the hardware is pretty simple then you just need to sell enough to pay for the operation center.
But there is a first mover advantage, with safety gear people naturally go for the brand name market leader which seems to be SPOT.




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#192925 - 01/07/10 09:20 PM Re: SPOT and DeLorme Unveil First Handheld GPS with Sa [Re: NobodySpecial]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA

Yah, I know the answer, it is easier, no vendor tie-in, blah blah blah.

It still is clunky and doesn't live up to what it could be.

-john

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